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Book Review: Tighter by Adele Griffin

I love it when a book leaves me with goosebumps in the middle of the summer, it’s hot outside, yet all the hairs on my arm are raised from reading an incredibly creepy story. Tighter by Adele Griffin is a very short book, yet it will linger in your mind long after you turn the last page.

Tighter, Adele Griffin, Book Cover


Jamie Atkinson is forced to spend the summer au pair-ing for one of her mom’s high school sweethearts on the island of Little Bly, playground to the megarich. However, instead of taking the story in a Gossip Girl-type of direction, Griffin puts a sinister twist on the island. You see, Jamie is a dead ringer for the previous au pair, Jessie who died in a horrific plane accident with her boyfriend Peter. Compound this with Jamie’s visions of her dead uncles Hank and Jim who both committed suicide and her tendency towards pill-popping and we have an addictive tale with palpable danger.

It seems that Jamie isn’t able to tell the difference between what is real and what is not. She becomes obsessed with dead Peter and the mystery of why their plane crashed. So obsessed that she begins seeing Peter’s ghost, who is so totally not like Casper the friendly ghost at all.

As someone who doesn’t believe in ghosts, I don’t generally find them scary. However, Tighter definitely made this non-believer feel a case of the chills. Adele Griffin’s book has a very strong flavor of the gothic. I felt the writing had the same sort of pull that Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier did. It’s one where you feel the presence of evil, although it seems none of the other players in the book can feel it, just you and the main character.

The writing is tight. There was never a point where I thought to myself, why doesn’t the writer cease her rambling and get to the point. Yet, in it’s tightness, it doesn’t lose out on style. Rather the style flows over the reader and I know I couldn’t help but appreciate the sentence structure and keep on flipping the pages enjoying both the action which was not sacrificed for style and vice versa.

For example: ‘I could see it in the peaked roofs along the coast, the lush gardens and hedgerows bordering properties spread out so far that not a decibel of someone else’s noise polluted the ears of his neighbor.” -pg. 20

Tighter by Adele Griffin is a perfect campfire read. However, if you are patient, I recommend saving this one for Halloween and savoring the story for the time when things tend to go bump in the night.

Disclosure: Received for review from Amazon Vine.

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Purchase Tighter here*FYI I receive a small commission if you buy things from Amazon after clicking link. Proceeds used for upkeep of site.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I loved this one, too. Such a spine-tingler! I’ll definitely be on the look-out for more of Adele Griffin’s work.

  2. April, I seriously don’t know what it is about your reviews… But somehow, I feel myself compelled to read every review you post… And, I find myself really drawn to titles you liked.
    Take this one- I’ve been seeing reviews of Tighter quite regularly, and nothing about it overly interested me. I wasn’t too interested in reading it, and doubted I would get to it.
    But now, I want it. I seriously want to read it. I just added it to my TBR, and shall now have to keep a look out for it. 🙂

  3. SO yeah, this one sounds great. I may need to go track this down immediately. I love your reviews and this one is no exception. Like Ashley above me, I had read reviews of this prior to this one and not one of them struck me as something I needed to have. Aaaaand now that’s changed.

  4. I’m not patient. I want this now =D

  5. Yeah, I don’t think I can be patient enough to wait until Halloween…I want to read this now! That spooky cover plus your glowing review makes me want to go out and buy it today. I just might have to…

  6. Interesting review. It sounds like this book is trying to fall under several different genres at once, so I’m feeling really dubious about it. Perhaps if I see more good reviews of it I’ll check it out.

  7. I loved this one! A great twist at the end that will make you want to go back and re-read for the clues you missed. Thank goodness it’s short, so you’ll have time to go back 🙂

  8. I’m heading to a friend’s camp in a month or so and this sounds like a great read while I relax by the bonfire. I’m putting this on my summer reading list for sure, thanks!
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  1. […] Turn Of The Screw by Henry James. Last year, I read a retelling of The Turn Of The Screw – Tighter by Adele Griffin and really liked it and was all, sure I will love this shit, in relation to the source material. […]

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